Long Island Beaches To Visit This Summer

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Welcome to Long Island’s Beach Scene!

Picture this: You’re sandwiched between the mighty Atlantic and the chill Long Island Sound, with every kind of beach vibe under the sun just waiting for you to explore. We’re talking about Long Island, New York’s not-so-secret summer playground, where the beaches are as diverse as they are stunning. Whether you’re into the South Shore’s lively, sun-soaked vibes or craving the peaceful, rocky retreats of the North Shore, there’s a spot on the sand with your name on it.

Summer here is nothing short of epic. From the moment Memorial Day hits, Long Island transforms. The whole place shakes off its spring chill and dresses up in its sunny best, ready to party till Labor Day. And let’s be real, who can resist that call? It’s the perfect excuse to ditch the city’s concrete jungle for quality beach time. New Yorkers and visitors alike make the pilgrimage, eager for that blend of adventure and relaxation that only Long Island beaches can offer.

RELATED: Long Island Beaches

But it’s not just about catching rays and riding waves. Each beach has its own personality and its own story. On the South Shore, you’ll find everything from packed, family-friendly spots to hidden gems where the waves whisper just for you. Meanwhile, the North Shore is all about quaint, quiet beaches where the world seems to slow down just enough for you to catch your breath.

So, if you’re looking for that perfect summer vibe or a quiet spot to recharge, remember, Long Island’s got you covered. It’s our little slice of paradise, right here in New York State, and it’s waiting for you. Whether you’re coming from the heart of New York City or cruising down the Ocean Parkway, get ready for some serious beach time. Let’s make this summer unforgettable!

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The Best Beaches of Long Island

Alright, let’s dive into the cream of the crop when it comes to Long Island’s beaches. Trust me, whether you’re all about that beach day hustle or just wanna chill by the waves, there’s a spot just for you.

Oceanfront Jewels: Atlantic Ocean Beaches

Jones Beach State Park: This is the spot where everyone and their mom shows up, but for all the right reasons. Jones Beach State Park is a powerhouse of beach vibes – think endless sandy beaches, the kind of white sand that feels like powdered sugar under your feet, and an energy that’s just infectious. Craving some action? Hit the basketball courts or wander the nature trails. And you can’t miss the central mall and the outdoor amphitheater for those summer concerts that are pretty much a ritual here.

Robert Moses State Park: A bit more on the chill side, Robert Moses State Park is your go-to for a laid-back day on Fire Island. With access to the Fire Island National Seashore, it’s a haven for those who love their beach days with a side of natural beauty. Grab your picnic basket and find your spot; this place is all about soaking up the sun in peace.

Coopers Beach & Main Beach in East Hampton: Now, if you’re talking postcard-perfect, Coopers Beach and Main Beach are where it’s at. Nestled in East Hampton, these spots are the celebs of the beach world. Dr. Beach himself gives them the thumbs up for being among the best, thanks to their stunning views and pristine conditions. High-end but totally worth the hype.

Credit: The Long Island Local

Tranquil Waters: Long Island Sound Beaches

Sunken Meadow State Park: Looking for calm waters perfect for a family day out? Sunken Meadow State Park has got you covered with its serene vibe, picnic-ready spots, and a golf course for when you need a break from the water.

Orient Beach State Park: This one’s a gem for nature lovers. Orient Beach State Park is all about preserving that delicate ecosystem, offering a quieter beach experience. The nature center’s there to drop some knowledge, and the views? Simply unbeatable.

Unique Finds: Specialty Beaches

Cedar Beach: Over on the more adventurous side, Cedar Beach is your go-to for exploring nature trails and soaking in all that natural beauty. It’s a bit off the beaten path and perfect for when you need that escape into nature.

Cupsogue Beach: For the active beachgoers, Cupsogue Beach spans miles of shoreline and comes equipped with volleyball courts for those looking to spike their way through summer. It’s on the barrier island, offering the best of both worlds: bay views and ocean waves.

There you have it – a quick tour of Long Island’s best beach spots. Each offers its own unique slice of beach life, whether you’re there for the vibes, the views, or the volleyball. So, slap on that sunscreen, grab your beach towel, and let’s make some waves!

Tobay Beach

Nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and the Great South Bay, Tobay Beach is a hidden gem mostly frequented by Town of Oyster Bay residents and their guests (though non-residents can visit for a higher parking fee during the week). This spot boasts a beautiful, sprawling shoreline with soft sand and calm waters that are perfect for families. It’s equipped with a playground, a spray park for the kids, and a couple of restaurants with stunning ocean views. The beach vibe here is laid-back, making it ideal for a day of sunbathing, leisurely swimming, and building sandcastles.

Westhampton Beach

Westhampton Beach offers a quintessential Hamptons experience without the overwhelming crowds. It’s known for its charming village, high-end boutiques, and, of course, pristine beaches. The beaches here are well-maintained, with clean, soft sand and waves that appeal to both swimmers and surfers. The vibe is upscale yet inviting, with plenty of beachgoers enjoying volleyball games, picnics, and the occasional summer concert. It’s a fantastic spot to experience the luxury of the Hamptons with a more laid-back atmosphere.

Quogue Village Beach

Quogue Village Beach is a serene, picturesque spot located in the quaint village of Quogue. This beach is perfect for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of more populated beaches. With its fine sand, gentle waves, and relatively quiet surroundings, it’s an ideal location for a peaceful day by the sea. Amenities include lifeguards, a concession stand, and restroom facilities, ensuring a comfortable and safe beach experience. The exclusivity of Quogue means the beach is never too crowded, offering a tranquil retreat.

Crab Meadow Beach

Located on the North Shore, Crab Meadow Beach is a tranquil spot known for its stunning sunsets and views of the Long Island Sound. The beach features soft sand and calm waters, making it a favorite among families and nature lovers. There’s a boardwalk for leisurely strolls, a playground for kids, and a beachside restaurant where you can enjoy a meal with a view. The vibe here is relaxed and friendly, perfect for anyone looking to unwind and soak up the natural beauty of the Sound.

Point Lookout

Point Lookout is a small, tight-knit community on the eastern end of Long Beach barrier island, known for its pristine, white sandy beaches and laid-back vibe. It’s a popular spot for fishing, sunbathing, and surfing, with waves that can challenge even the most experienced surfers. The town itself has a charming, old-fashioned feel, with small local shops and eateries. The community is welcoming, and the beach is less crowded than others in the area, offering a quiet escape with beautiful ocean views.

Beaches on the East End

The East End of Long Island is home to some of the most beautiful and prestigious beaches in New York. This area encompasses both the North and South Forks, including the famous Hamptons and the tranquil North Fork beaches. Here, you’ll find everything from the wide, sandy shores of Coopers Beach in Southampton to the secluded, pebbly beaches of the North Fork. The vibe ranges from the luxurious and lively beaches of East Hampton to the more laid-back and family-friendly spots like those in Mattituck and Greenport. The East End is also known for its vineyards, historic lighthouses, and picturesque countryside, making it a perfect destination for beachgoers looking to enjoy a bit of everything.

Each of these beaches offers something special, whether you’re seeking tranquility, community, or a touch of luxury. So, grab your beach bag and explore the diverse shores of Long Island!

Seasonal Highlights and Events

Let’s talk about the real stars of the show when it comes to Long Island beach life: those special times of the year that turn the coast into a buzzing hub of fun and festivity.

Kicking Off Summer: Memorial Day Weekend

Memorial Day Weekend is like the grand opening ceremony for beach season on Long Island. It’s the official “we’re now open for business” moment for sun seekers and wave chasers. Beaches start to fill up, the smell of sunscreen is in the air, and there’s this buzz of excitement because everyone knows: summer’s finally here. This weekend is your first chance to dip those toes in the sand, test the waters, and maybe even snag your season’s beach admission pass. It’s all about shaking off the winter blues and diving headfirst into summer with loads of recreational activities and beautiful views. 

The Summer Hustle

During the summer months, the beaches of Long Island are alive with the sound of laughter, music, and the occasional seagull looking to share your snack. It’s not just about lounging under the sun though (as awesome as that is). Expect pop-up events, beach volleyball tournaments, and maybe even a concert or two, especially at places like Jones Beach with its legendary outdoor amphitheater. Every day feels like a mini-holiday, packed with its own adventures and stories.

Wrapping Up: Labor Day Weekend

Labor Day Weekend is the bittersweet finale of the beach season. It’s your last chance to make those summer memories, soak up the sun, and play in the waves before the routine of fall kicks in. Beaches see a last surge of visitors, all coming together to say a proper goodbye to summer. It’s a weekend of reflection, of soaking in every last bit of summer fun, and maybe a little denial that yes, summer has to end. But hey, it’s also a promise that next year, we get to do it all over again.

From the opening excitement of Memorial Day to the closing ceremonies of Labor Day, Long Island’s beaches offer a summer filled with unforgettable moments. Each visit, each wave, each sunset adds up to a season of joy, relaxation, and community. So, grab that beach pass and let’s make the most of every sun-filled day!

Parking fees for Long Island Beaches

Parking fees at Long Island beaches can vary widely depending on the location, the time of year, and even the time of day. While some beaches might offer free parking, especially those in more residential areas or smaller town beaches, the more popular state parks and well-known beaches often charge a fee for parking.

State Parks and Popular Beaches

At state parks like Jones Beach State Park, Robert Moses State Park, and Sunken Meadow State Park, parking fees are pretty standard during the peak beach season, which runs from Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day Weekend. The fees can range anywhere from $8 to $10 per vehicle for the day, but they’re subject to change, so it’s always a good idea to check the latest info before you go. Some parks might offer seasonal parking passes, which can be a great deal if you’re planning to hit the beach multiple times throughout the summer.

Town and County Beaches

For beaches managed by towns or counties, parking fees and regulations can differ. Some might require a town parking permit, which could be available only to residents or offered to non-residents at a higher price. Others charge a daily fee that can vary from $5 to $25 or more, depending on the beach’s popularity and amenities.

Tips to Avoid High Fees

  • Early Birds and Late Comers: Some beaches offer reduced parking fees if you arrive early in the morning or later towards the evening.
  • Season Passes: If you’re a frequent beachgoer, look into getting a season pass for state parks or town beaches. They often pay for themselves after just a few visits.
  • Carpooling: Not only is it eco-friendly, but splitting the parking fee with friends can make your beach day more affordable.
  • Public Transportation: Consider using the Long Island Rail Road or buses that service beach areas. Some beaches are just a short walk from train stations or bus stops, potentially saving you on parking costs.
  • Weekdays vs. Weekends: Parking fees can be higher on weekends and holidays when beaches are busiest. If your schedule allows, visiting on a weekday might save you a few bucks.

Remember, while parking fees might feel like a bit of a bummer, they often go towards maintaining the beaches, facilities, and natural beauty of these areas, making sure they’re clean, safe, and enjoyable for everyone. So pack your sunscreen, grab some change or your pass, and get ready for a great day at the beach!

So, whether you are looking for the pulse of Jones Beach energy or the low key vibes of the Long Island’s South Shore, the choice is yours. There is one good reason after the next to head to a Long Island Beach this summer. 

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